Call of Duty while on duty
The Department of National Defence is sending 500 copies of video games to Canadian soldiers in “lonely outposts” in Afghanistan as a moral booster. The order was issued by public tender last week, and will close in early December, though Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan will end July 1, 2011. The tender could be worth as much as $25,000 at an estimated $50 a title. Cmdr. Hubert Genest said that it is routine to send video games to Afghanistan, and that they need to be updated every few years with new editions. The games include some combat titles, like Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat, and Gears of War, as well as Guitar Hero 3, Tiger Woods 2011 and The Beatles Rock Band.
Rise in the use of food banks
Canadians are now using food banks at the highest recorded levels ever. The HungerCount 2010 survey released last week reported that almost 900,000 Canadians used food banks last March. About nine per cent of those people were using food banks for the first time. Children accounted for 38 per cent of people served by food banks. Food Banks Canada Executive director Katherine Schmidt says the results are an indication that the recession is not over for many Canadians. The group recommended that the government create strategies to prevent poverty and create housing.
Carleton tells students it will keep money until books are open
Carleton’s undergraduate and graduate student associations announced they will be taking legal action to get $7 million that university administration is keeping from student associations, the Fulcrum reported. Universities typically hold collected fees in trust until they are transferred for student groups. Carleton’s administration, concerned about financial accountability, says their transfer won’t happen until a new funding agreement is signed. Student groups argue that they are accountable to students, not the administration, and that the new agreement would give the administration the power to refuse new fee levies, and manage campus services. As of last week, $3.5 million had been released to maintain health and dental plans and campus clubs. Students say that they’ve had to dip into contingency funds to staff nine services centres.
In Soviet Russia, party eats you
A Soviet-themed party has ignited some controversy at a Toronto university, according to the Eyeopener. The University of Toronto Russian Students’ Association created posters for their “Back in CCCP” party. The red posters were put up at Ryerson University and featured the sickle and hammer and red star, emblems of the USSR, or CCCP in Russian. Paul Terek, president of the Ryerson Ukrainian Students’ Association, sent an email on behalf of the group to the RSA, saying that the posters are “offensive to descendants of all post-Soviet states” and recalled the Soviet Union’s harsh treatment of its people. RSA president Danil Shezelev said the party was meant to be retro-themed, and that he didn’t mean to offend anyone. “We didn’t throw a Siberian exile party.”